tv [untitled] March 25, 2012 4:00pm-4:30pm PDT
a, it creates a lot of jobs. we have a developer that is ready to go on it. to, we talked about the height limit. before 1989 with the embarcadero freeway was there, if it was blocking your view. what you have now is a lot better than that. plus, change is part of what is going on in this city. without change, we would be stagnant. i urge you to pass this project. thank you very much. good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen of the planning commission. i am an engineer working in this city and living in the city for 55 years. i am also a commissioner at the board of examiners. and at my hearings we have 10
people, not a crowd, so i do not envy you. this year will be my 30th year on the board of examiners. i have worked and lived in san francisco near the embarcadero. my first job was admission and fremont, and then i moved to market. also, i was a member of golden gate way tennis and swim club and gave up tennis when i could not see the ball anymore. i urge you to approve the eir so finally we can go to work and get the ball rolling again. six years is enough i think. i have many years -- reasons
for recommending approval. i read recently that many articles in the newspaper are all in favor of the job. i think you have a most excellent architecture and engineer on the job, and over the years i worked with most of them, and i know you are in good hands. also, your excellent planning department is recommending the approval, and i think that should be enough. and i think the majority of san francisco would approve of the project. unfortunately, most of them are working now and cannot be here. as you know, construction industry is still in the dumps, even though the city is picking up mostly because of the high- tech industry. those of us in the construction industry, including my own office, we were 55 people in
2008. now we are only 35. we still have not come up to speed. construction industry badly needs this project. thank you very much. >> john clauson. jeanie moss. chris nelson. >> good afternoon. my name is june osterberg, and i want to state i am strongly opposed to the 8 washington project for many reasons. in my attempt at brevity, i am quoting from the march 7 editorial of the "bay gaurdian."
here are the five main reasons this project should not be approved -- 1, it fills no housing needs. 2, a reward for bad actors. 3, an environmental disaster. 4, it will wipe out what is mostly a middle-class recreation facility. 5, the city does not get much out of the deal. it is not a cop out for me to use this. i use it because i agree with everything they say. and if you would want to see how they substantiate each of these reasons, it is in the march 7 issue. i am a longtime san franciscan, and i urge you not to certify the eir for this extremely
detrimental project. >> thank you. >> my name is john, a 20-year resident of telegraph hill, a member of the golden gate way tennis and swim club for level -- a little over 10 years. i am in support of the 8 washington project. i think it is a tremendous and much-needed improvement to the club. facilities will greatly benefit from both the enhanced fitness and some facilities, but also from the public space and a connection back to the city. more importantly, i think this is a critical project for the city. since the loma prieta earthquake, the city has struggled to reclaim its waterfront. i think san francisco it deserves and is one of the world-class waterfronts, and the
presence of parking lots and tennis courts surrounded by a chain-link fence and feels to me like a terribly inappropriate use for this great waterfront. and that the introduction of housing, the introduction of ground-floor retail, and other uses that will help activate the street, open spaces that connect back to the neighborhood, to meet bring what is most appropriate to activating this waterfront, and to continuing some of the development that started to occur and has been such a struggle to maintain a sense the embarcadero if -- since the embarcadero freeway came down. i think it is and available to the city and the port at a time when resources are very constrained, where there is a struggle to maintain a property taxes, where redevelopment has completely gone away which helps drive the creation of new affordable housing in the city. i think that it really is a civic priority to help restore and maintain this waterfront and
introduce uses that help complement and integrate with the rest of the community. so i urge you to support it. thank you very much. >> good afternoon, commissioners. thank you for this opportunity to speak. my name is janine loss. i am an architect and principal at a firm located in downtown san francisco. for years i worked on the embarcadero and am intimately familiar with the challenges that prisons. i am pleased to be here on behalf of the many individuals who have worked effortlessly for years to support the thoughtful development of the waterfront communities. to be sure, a tennis club and asphalt parking lot surrounded by fencing and green and netting do not belong on the embarcadero.
san francisco residents and visitors alike deserve the opportunity to find new and repurchased uses in our urban fabric. the water's edge needs to continue to evolve with dignity and grace, unencumbered by nearby neighbors who are afraid of change, even if that change means better things to come. without equivocation, in favor of the 8 washington project and encourage your unanimous support. there's no doubt this project represents sound planning principles, historic sensitivity, an acknowledgement of open space requirements, and connectivity between neighborhoods in the bay. the city must make bold steps in order to ensure our waterfront's viability and success, and 8 washington does just that. at the end of the day, this project supports what many cities search for, particularly san francisco, an opportunity for creating extraordinary experiences at the waterfront,
tempered by thoughtful guidelines regarding site design, building massing, and pedestrian access. after almost six years of design, redesigned, planning department-involvement and oversight, and public participation and commitment, the residential buildings now stepped back from the embarcadero with views of the waterfront to the urban fabric preserved. new underground public parking, a health club with living green roof, retail and public open spaces will be complemented bite reestablish sightlines at a public access. let's not forget, the many units of affordable housing promised of sight as part of this process. this project should be approved. thank you. >> ellen, peter, frederick.
>> good afternoon. i am ellen, a 45-year resident of san francisco. i of -- i have been involved in public service positions bounce it on economic and environmental concerns and land-use decision making and local and state waterfront sites. your staff, your long-term professional staff in the planning and recreation departments have done an absolutely commendable job on this eir. addressing the city is three centrality is. the information, accuracy, and the conclusions related to impacts. their report is excellent.
it deserves your certification. were there were impacts identify, mitigation is provided, that is what the eir process is all about. then we move forward. the port and the city is blessed with this tremendous opportunity to further port revitalization with the financial support of a project developer that is imbued with a strong environmental ethics. remember, this is a port project. without these public-private partnerships, we cannot continue the essentially violation -- revitalization of the port, which provides wonderful benefits for the city, region, and all of california, frankly. thank you for your support of the eir today. >> commissioners, i am peter
winklestein. have experts of a letter from will travis it cannot be here today. dear commissioners, after spending 16 years as the executive director of the san francisco bay confrontation -- conservation and development commission, as my first civic act as a civilian, i offer my unqualified support for the 8 washington project. i will stress the role it will play in making san francisco's embarcadero a truly world renowned urban boulevard. the waterfront today is remarkably different from that what it was two decades ago, in large part because the city, the port, and bcdc build on our shared values. the result is an attractive, vibrant, and ever-improving urban landscape that is being built on the embarcadero. however, a world-class brand
boulevard recurs excellence and complementary structures on both sides of the roadway. some parts of the embarcadero have this, and in other places, parking lots, a chain-link fences, and nondescript structures from the inland order of our boulevard. the 8 washington project will replace one of these things with a beautiful structure that will complete the frame around the composite of an exciting public open space at the foot of market street. i have learned that in politics, there's nothing more powerful than the status quo. however imperfect current conditions maybe, we have learned to live with them. on the other hand, whenever any change is measured not against its benefits but by its possible flaws, whatever flaws the 8 washington project may have, and
if there are any, they are few and minor, it will replace an unwelcoming design blemish with architectural excellence. therefore, in your consideration of this project, i urge you to recognize that among its many benefits, it will achieve a major urban design objectives. and speaking for myself, i have been a member for many years of spur's project -- [bell rings] approval policy. this project has come to us in each of its incarnations, and we have always supported very strongly. for the reasons that will as mentioned in his letter. so i, too, support this project very strongly. thank you very much.
>> good afternoon, commissioners and members of the peanut gallery. thank you for having patients to watch a truly san francisco event. my name is frederick, and i am here this afternoon with several hats. first of all, i am, by profession, a real-estate broker with a company called sotheby's international real-estate. for over 35 years, i have represented owners, property owners, tenants on the north waterfront, from telegraph landing, 101 lombard, central waterfront, golden gateway commons, washington towers, and more. during that timeframe, i have had the good fortune to represent over 80% of every transaction of homes and
condominiums sold over $1.5 million. so you might call me an expert. what i brought to you today in as little handout is what it is really going to cost for a party to buy a condominium at 8 washington. a project which is very controversial and maybe even controversial to the new owners when they figure out what is he going to cost to live in these new properties. this is information i gained yesterday from first republicbank, the current rate quotes to qualify for one of these loans or purchase the property. as it was said publicly many times, this is potentially the most expensive condominiums to be built in san francisco, would surpass the millennium which i have represented buyers and sellers in, as well as the recent main building at the st. regis, which we sold at sotheby's for $28.5 million
recently. nevertheless, for somebody to buy one of these, they're going to have to put down1 a down.2 million dollar to sign1.4 million down payment. $12,000 to 18 deaths in dollars per month. party taxes and homeowners fees will be between $17,000 and $28,000 per month. to qualify for the loan, they need to make $600,000 to $1 million the year. and the lender requires a 36- month haulback of these costs, so the total commitment to buy one of the cheaper ones would be $1.8 million as a down payment and hold back up to $5 million to disqualify or to buy one of these properties. this is not the 1%. this is the 0.6% that will be buying these properties. from past experience with clients who have bought properties like this is they do not occupy them very often.
they are often absentee owners who live in a shanghai, hong kong, russia, lake tahoe, and more. what we're doing here is to provide something that is very exclusive. my second comment is, this will basically the story a neighborhood that won many awards and was first built back in the 1970's. it will take away the one in durable part of the neighborhood that made it complete, which is the recreational about a -- it will take away one interval part of the neighborhood that makes it complete. the concept of opening up the neighborhood to a 40-mile an hour highway is ludacris, a joke to suggest that is a good benefit for opening up pacific avenue and the jackson street corridor. thank you for your patience. >> thank you. lisa, remy, sabrina, amy.
>> hello. my name is remy, an architect. i work just around the corner on broadway. i am speaking in support of this project. it is a fantastic project. it has about 30,000 square feet of open space. on top of that, it has 35,000 square feet of green roof. the benefits of the green roof and the open space are a tremendous compared to the existing parking lot and the existing cards gave tennis courts. -- hard scape tennis courts. it will absorb greenhouse gases
equivalent to about 2700 cars, taking us off the road. it will also help with the rain water and reduce the storm water runoff into the bay, which is a critical issue in that particular area. the project will also -- if you look at the diagram, you can see how green the project is compared to the existing parking lots. it is mostly planted spaces. and it provides much-needed housing. yes, it is expense of housing, but it is a prime piece of real estate. it will reduce traffic, and these folks will now be able to walk to their offices instead of driving from places like hillsborough. that alone will reduce greenhouse gases. if you look at the rendering,
you can see that the architect has carefully cited the building so that the tallest component is against the large blocks, and they're very little windows on the side of that. so the views that are blocked minimize. and it stepped the building down. with the green roofs added, folks in the existing tower will be looking down onto green space and green roofs instead of looking down on to a hard scape parking lot and tennis courts. [bell rings] it is maintained with a swimming pool. and lots of open space and green space. all-in-all, it is a great project. they have also made it a lot more transparent by having the pedestrian walkways come through
and replacing all of the chain- link fence, which is very copiague, with a ground-floor retail and additional ground floor uses. [bell rings] at the health club. thank you. irish your support for the project. -- i urge your support for the project. >> good afternoon. my name is mona lisa, the chair of the san francisco chapter of the national organization for women, a practicing attorney in san francisco. i am not here today in my professional capacity. i am here as a local foodie and mom of two. i have an 11-year-old and a 5- year-old, and we love to come to the farmer's market. my kids are six years apart. when it came time to decide,
well i have another child, the advice that i got was to look at a family portrait and see at somebody was missing. so along came cisco, the second one. when i walked outside of the farmer's market with my bluebell coffee and my bag of gluten-free biscuits, i look back in my beautiful city and something is missing. because i am seeing concrete and chain-link fence. there is no place for my kids to just sit and play out there. there should be a playground. there should be a destination when you have your local goodies to go and enjoy. this is my daughter, and i will let her say a word, too. >> hello. i am is 11 years old, and i am supporting the 8 washington project. i have a 5-year-old brother. personally, i asked him, and he
thinks, as do i, that it would be really cool to have some sort of place, you know, water found you can play in, instead of looking at a water found that you can toss coins in and wish you can jump in but you know you'll get in trouble. now i am going to read a letter from a supporter, stuart. greetings. i am a san francisco resident who cheered for the demolition of the embarcadero expressly. since then, i have often wondered what it would take for the city to stop turning away from its gorgeous waterfront. the answer is entrepreneurialism projects by private enterprises who are committed to the idea that our city, first and foremost, features a world-class waterfront. in my opinion, the project is a tasteful and thoughtful project for a difficult site. it looks towards the harbor in some of the ugly apartment buildings. it creates a sense of the embarcadero as a boulevard, rather than a set of chain-link fences and driveways. frankly, i think the city of san
francisco is lucky to have attracted the project. my only advice is that the major buildings should be much higher than they are planned. 15 to 20 stories. that is what you see in chicago on lake shore drive, which is the closest approximation that i can think of of what the embarcadero should emulate. yours truly. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. daree, ms. ranier. >> my name is amy. i work for small company. on a daily basis, i live and breathe green roof. i was happy to hear mr. tam talk about some of the benefits of green roofs, and i will not repeat his great statistics. but thank you for your time. to hear about the many benefits of the 8 washington project in some of the reasons why green slate supports the project. i would like to commend pacific waterfront partners and the others for their visionary inclusion of impact full of
green roof in this design. green river companies are a source of new, well-paying jobs. expanding green infrastructure, instead of insufficient, expensive gray infrastructure strategies for dealing with storm water and sewage management. greenrooms provide local air quality and water quality benefits and help address climate change. to address climate change in particular, the really smart scientists at columbia university has -- have come to the conclusion that green roofs are the best single mitigation strategy for combating the effects of climate change in the years moving forward. i would like you to do about that, too. also, looking a little bit closer at the storm water management issues. compared to the existing uses on side, it is short -- paved surfaces absorbed neither co2 or particulate matter. san francisco has combined
sewers during heavy rains and storm water overwhelm the system. sewage pours into the bay. the green roof at 8 washington will retain and in storm water. this will happen during peak runoff and regular store even spirit the project will improve water quality and help prevent future violations of the clean water act. the green roofs mimic natural processes. they also bring a range of stunning benefits, both for the environment and for public health. police certified the eir to allow this environmentally and line project to move ahead -- please certify the eir. thank you for your time. >> good afternoon, commissioners. i am elizabeth, and i am here today to express my support for the project at 8 washington. as a local business owner in at north beach and partner with an
architect group, as well as a 20-year resident of telegraph hill, i am so -- i am fully supportive of the proposal. the overall design excellence, scale, a character, and urban plan are well-considered and will be an important contribution to san francisco's waterfront. we share, as a city, the galvanizing platform of sustainability and healthy living. 8 washington meets this cultural need by promoting vital, active, and healthy uses to the coastal culture of san francisco. seizing a unique opportunity to reconnect our city back to its waterfront. 8 washington's thoughtfully organized program and urban plan strategies that include pedestrian-friendly housing, new pedestrian corridors, ground- floor retail, a publicly- accessible open space, the
aquatics and health center, and much-needed underground parking. well-seeded and brilliantly planned for the embarcadero. this site is the ideal location for higher density housing on a major transit corridor with open access to the waterfront. the existing golden gate tennis and swimming club represents an integrated urban paradigm that serves to privileged few. it privatizes the waterfront that should be shared by all san franciscans. remove a portion of the private tennis courts in exchange for public open space is inappropriate, civic-minded compromise. -- is an appropriate, civic- minded compromise. this will change our city into a walkable city, connecting jackson square, north beach, and chinatown to the embarcadero, encouraging more pedestrian and bike traffic to and from the bike traffic to and from the waterfront